Oeiras is a town since 1759, near the same time when Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo was knighted Earl of Oeiras, by the King José I. One year after, Oeiras is granted a Royal Charter, defining the town privileges and therefore, conferring its reputation and prestige. In 1859, when the counselor João Franco was Minister of Home Affairs, the council is extinguished and in 1898, Oeiras is given back the designation of town council.

Historical Heritage

Palácio Marquês de Pombal

Source: Câmara Municipal de Oeiras

Palácio Marquês de Pombal

The municipality of Oeiras has two remarkable historical buildings, the Marquis of Pombal Palace (Palácio Marquês de Pombal) and the Fort of São Julião da Barra, two important examples of the Portuguese civil and military architecture.

The Marquis of Pombal Palace was the residence of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Earl of Oeiras and Marquis of Pombal. The Palace architecture is traditionally attributed to the Hungarian architect Carlos Mardel, who came to work to Portugal in 1733. It has a chapel consecrated to Our Lady of Mercy, stone made staircases and statuary, and remarkable tiled wall panels (azulejos). It has cascades (of Poets, Taveira and Golden Water), an arched aqueduct, a dovecote, a barn and a wine cellarage too.

The Fort of São Julião da Barra was built shortly after 1580, by Italian architects Leonardo Turriano (for some) and Giacomo Palearo (for others), who have lived in Portugal in the 16th century.

At the mouth of the river Tagus, the Fort of São Lourenço da Cebeça Seca, generally known as Fort of Bugio, is a significant example of round fortresses of Renaissance architecture. The work started in 1586 and its author was the Frial Vicenzo Casale. With its shape consisting of cylinders placed above others, the Fort of Bugio, as well as the Fort of São Julião da Barra, had the purpose to defend the ship at the inlet of the river Tagus.

It is also important to point out other small coastal forts that formed the coast defensive line of the right bank of Tagus River, such as Fort of Giribita, Fort of S. Bruno, Fort of Maias, Fort of Areeeiro and Fort of Catalazete.

You can also find in this region one of the best examples of the industrial heritage and one of the oldest industries in Portugal, the famous Gunpowder Factory of Barcarena, Its establishment dates back to the 15th century (under the reign of the King João II), when there were created the primitive Ferrarias D'el-rei. In the 16th century, through a charter of 25th October 1517, the King Manuel I orders the construction of the Armoury House of Barcarena. Today, this entire complex is duly restored.

Oeiras municipality is comprised by 10 parishes, as follows: Algés, Barcarena, Carnaxide, Caxias, Cruz-Quebrada / Dafundo, Linda-a-Velha, Oeras e São Julião da Barra, Paço de Arcos, Porto Salvo and Queijas.

Source: Câmara Municipal de Oeiras